LEJOG – Day 2 – The Kindness of Strangers
The prospect of 108.3 miles loomed large at the start of the day, the boys feeling the first days’ distance hangover smartly in their calves. An hour and a half into the ride, pictures started to surface of James carrying his bike high above his head. Initial thoughts were that he’d become so uncomfortable that he just wanted to throw his bike as far away as possible, or that Mark had careered into him one too many times and he wanted to launch the thing at his cycling partner. Fortunately, clarification came through a bit later that they’d hit a ford and with no Caractacus Potts on hand to adapt their bikes, they had to carry them.
When they had survived the first 30 miles they stopped for a water break before a long climb, again making sure to check their areas of inspiration- new donations had even arrived this morning. Sufficiently buoyed and rehydrated, they set off.
Lunchtime, ham sarnies, was a real highlight for the two as they received a video from the team at Sparkle, someone in the team clearly has a flair for arts and crafts as the banner is a cracker, wishing the pair good luck. Such a thoughtful gesture from a team of relative strangers was a kindness the two were not expecting, despite all of the random acts of kindness already shown time and time again throughout this process, even from people who did not even know their names until they clicked on a link or asked them where they were cycling to and why. The neighbour of the cottage they stayed in last night asked them about their trip and has since donated on the JustGiving page- incredible!
The more visible support, in the form of Alison and Adrian, James’ long-suffering parents, has also been above and beyond. They have met the boys at each and every stop so far, bringing more water, snacks and general good cheer to make this nation-length cycle that bit easier. As we are sure many of you will know, this legs on the ground support is invaluable to keeping any endurance challenge ticking along, and the boys would definitely not be able to complete this challenge without the unwavering support of their families. So thank you Alison and Adrian! P.S. we hear your ham sarnies are sensational so please may we put in an order…?
The lunchbreak was quickly over and the boys had only an afternoon of undulating hills spread across 25 miles to look forward to. 10 miles along a ‘shocking’ canal path was a standout feature of the route, the hills just blurred into one big chunk of elevation. Spirits remained high however as over the course of the afternoon the donations surpassed an astronomical £6,700- something that definitely helped with the final hills of the day. Once the hills were out of the way, the final 35 miles of day two were relatively flat. James and Mark stopped to grab a celebratory 99 on the approach to the final hour on the bike of the day. The two finally arrived at the accommodation for the evening at ten past eight, the hours to fit recovery in, fuel up and rest are looking few and far between this evening. Hopefully tomorrow will be an easier day, o2e’s very own Ollie Rastall is joining them tomorrow to hopefully get the wind back in their sails and inspire the boys to make it through the first third of the challenge.
Miles – 108.3
Elevation gained – 4,904 ft
Time in the saddle – 9 hours
Ice creams eaten – 2